Paula Radcliffe: A Lesson in Crisis Management
Sian Bayley, English Literature student at Oxford University, considers the PR strategies used to combat the recent allegations made against Paula Radcliffe.
The recent Sunday Times investigation into suspicious athlete blood samples made headlines for allegedly including a British household name. Combined with MP Jesse Norman’s remark that appeared to raise suspicions about a prominent British marathon runner, Paula Radcliffe was advised to go to the media to defend herself and clear her name before being explicitly outed in a situation the PR world refers to as ‘crisis management’.
Crisis management is defined as “the process by which a business or other organisation deals with a sudden emergency situation”, in this case, the suggestion that Paula Radcliffe had suspicious blood samples that may lead to investigations about doping. In order to prevent headlines explicitly accusing her and tarnishing her reputation, Paula Radcliffe’s PR team set to work to release a personal and detailed statement with the intention to prove her innocence.
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